Your Fifth Amendment Rights: The Right to Remain Silent
Jersey City & Freehold Attorneys serving Essex, Hudson, Monmouth County, and Nearby NJ Areas
The main purpose of the Fifth Amendment is to provide protection to people against certain types of abuse by government (including law enforcement) authority.
About Miranda Rights
It is important to understand that in New Jersey, the police do not have to read you your Miranda Rights until you are taken into custody. When they do read you your Miranda Rights, they are required to tell you that you have the right to remain silent, and if you give up that right, anything you say can be used against you.
But the police can also question you before an arrest — and anything you say before being read your Miranda Rights as part of this questioning can also be used against you.
The Fifth Amendment reads:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
What This Means
The Fifth Amendment includes (but is not limited to):
- You have the right to due process. This which means that you may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.”
- You have the right to remain silent (Miranda Rights – but you may need to express that you wish to exercise this right)
- You have the right to refuse to say anything that would incriminate you in federal or state court in a criminal or civil proceeding
- Limits the use of evidence collected using illegal means by law enforcement officers
- Protects people against double jeopardy so that they cannot be tried for the same crime twice if they were found innocent the first time